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Representing the more melodic side to Candlelight's UK heritage BM duo, Winterfylleth have come up with another highly engaging album in "The Threnody of Triumph" following the total success that was 2010's "The Mercian Sphere". The band's soaring riffs which were the hallmark of that release are here in plenty in amongst the more direct percussive performance and greater usage of the grand choral chanting, always the feature which has the greatest effect in the live arena.
At 10 songs in 65 minutes, "Threnody..." (‘threnody’: ”song, hymn or poem of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person”) is a meaty listen, one which will require a few spins to really grasp its finer nuances but buried within the cascades of riffs are many moments of sheer delight. The stock Winterfylleth sound of fast and caustic riffing, with it's positioning in the foreground of the mix combined with the incessant drum-beating of S. Lucas, mark only a subtle change from "The Mercian Sphere", a record which placed great emphasis on installing all riffs with such a terrific sense of scale and positivity that it seemed hardly possible to be a record so rooted in black metal. Casual listens to "The Fate of Souls After Death", "A Thousand Winters" and the title-track on this new one will show said vastness and scale in true glory, as the long songs of Winterfylleth’s forte wind between folk-influenced interludes to. Variation may not seem great at first between these tracks but when the pace drops, as in "The Swart Raven", or C. Naughton’s vocal howling ceases for a period as in "A Memorial" then the rhythmic riffs take on a classical dimension, resembling how an orchestra manages to sound so much larger than the sum of it's stringed parts.
Aside from a couple of short interludes the pace is hammering and fast, yet, unusually for a record so steeped in the black metal sound, still so wholesomely positive in vibe. Singing songs of historical pride and British heritage (while carefully never stepping into nationalistic territory) Winterfylleth keep an upbeat feel to proceedings which can only serve well to entice in potential listeners who understandably find the standard nihilistic and Satanic stance of BM a touch uncomfortable. Not quite on the plain of "The Mercian Sphere" but a record to be cherished nonetheless.
Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net